Fractures and groundwater flow in a triassic sandstone aquifer, Colorado City, Texas

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Title: Fractures and groundwater flow in a triassic sandstone aquifer, Colorado City, Texas
Author: Mabbitt, Derald D
Abstract: The abandoned Col -Tex tank farm site , in Mitchell County , Texas , sits atop fractured sandstone and mudstone belonging to the Trujillo Sandstone of the Triassic Dockum Group . From the late 1920s to the early 1970s , the site was used as a storage facility for petroleum and associated products ranging from aviation fuel to asphalt . Tar , asphalt , and oily water remain in on -site impoundments . The presence of perched water tables in the upper 5m to 7m of the Trujillo Sandstone suggests that vertical groundwater flow is inhibited by a shale -siltstone layer within the formation . As this site overlies the Santa Rosa aquifer which is used for municipal and irrigation water in this area , the possibility of contamination to local groundwater has been investigated . In addition , the location of the site on a 30 -meter bluff adjacent to the nearby Colorado River represents potential surface water contamination . A definite orthogonal fracture pattern in the upper 5 to 7 meters of the Trujillo Sandstone is documented at the site . A prominent fracture trend of approximately N50E is found . These fractures likely formed due to far -field E -NE directed compressional stresses associated with the Late Cretaceous to Eocene Laramide Orogeny in southwest Texas and south central New Mexico . Similar fracture systems likely penetrate the lower part of the Trujillo Sandstone and the underlying Santa Rosa Sandstone . Although fractures in the Upper Trujillo Sandstone directly beneath fluid -filled impoundments may be partially clogged with mud and tar , the presence of these fractures affects water and contaminant flow through the Upper Trujillo Sandstone , as evidenced by the presence of cliff face seeps associated with these fractures . Eventual remediation of this site should take into account the likelihood of anisotropic groundwater flow direction caused by these fractures in the Trujillo Sandstone .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /12918
Date: 1995-05

Citation

Mabbitt, Derald D Fractures and groundwater flow in a triassic sandstone aquifer, Colorado City, Texas. Master's thesis, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /12918 .

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